JAPAN RELEASE: AUGUST 2009
SERIES: LARGE MONSTER SERIES (25cm)
MATERIAL: SOFT VINYL
FROM: “Ultraman”, 1966-1967
HEIGHT: 9 inches / 22.86 cm
WIDTH: 4 inches / 10.16 cm
LENGTH: 4.25 inches / 10.79 cm
ARTICULATION: Ankles Rotate
AVAILABILITY: Hard to find.
REVIEW AND PHOTOS: JOHN STANOWSKI
There were three suits made for and used in the original Ultraman television series. This figure represents the third suit (or “C-Type”) in the famous Spacium Ray pose. And, wow, all I can say is the six-year-old inside me gives it a big thumbs up! Though I have this listed as 1966-67 in the title, it likely appeared in 1967 as it was the last suit used.
A lot of figures and toys tend to try to make them look “better” by stylizing them, making them look idealic and trying to cover up the flaws in the original. On the other hand, X-Plus goes out of its way to mimic the precise appearance of THE SUIT. On X-Plus figures, you’ll often find things like ‘zipper lines’ along the back, or tiny holes in the front which the suit actor used to try to see. On this figure the holes under the big white eyes are clearly included in the sculpt. And the dark crease running down Ultraman’s back where the zipper is located is faithfully represented. Particularly impressive on this figure are the tiny lines and etches around the folds and bevels of the suit. I’m about to repeat myself yet again: this figure looks as if it literally just shuwatched right out of the TV show and onto my shelf!
VISIBLE SEAMS & JOINTS: Yes, there are some, most noticably around the shoulders. These are part of the sculpt because the Ric Boy Exclusive version of this figure comes with a second set of arms for a ‘fighting pose’. Fortunately when viewed from the front these seams are invisible. There are lines around each wrist and ankle which are somewhat noticeable. The seam around the waist is cleverly hidden by making it follow the line of the red meeting silver design and are only detectable on the back fin.
This pose is truly iconic. This is the stance Ultraman takes when he fires his primary weapon (and discussion-ender), the Spacium Ray (commonly seen written as ‘Specium’) emitted from his open right hand. The X-Plus sculptors captures this pose perfectly. Ultraman suit actor Satoshi “Bin” Furuya would slightly curve his left hand upward and even that minute detail is captured in the figure. Five “shooting stars” for this pose! Best Angle: a forward 3/4 view, preferably facing the left.
Unlike other “toys” which try to sell figures with an overly vivid paint scheme, this one has an especially realistic red color. It’s dull and muted and desaturated… exactly as it should be! The silver paint is also dull and not overly shiny. (I’m afraid my overly Photoshopped photos for this review tend to intensify the colors and shininess giving a false presentation of the true paint scheme. But rest assured, it will look perfect on your shelf!)
FOOTPRINT / SIZE
Obviously shelf space is not a concern with this figure. It takes up relatively little room; even less if you don’t use the base that comes with it. I currently have four “Ultramen” and the only problem I’ve had displaying them is that each one sort of ‘demands’ that nothing be put in front of it except a low-height quadroped Ultra kaiju.
This figure is 9 inches tall in it’s crouched pose. It fits in very nicely with the X-Plus 25cm Giant Monster Series. Unfortunately, from what I’ve seen so far, X-Plus has been making the Ultraman figures taller, and thus out of scale, with the Ultra Kaiju figures. While they seem to go together well on the shelf, the truth is the “Ultramen” are at least a “head” taller than the monsters.
Ultraman comes with ankles which can rotate, which is important. It’s so perfectly balanced that only by tweaking the rotation of the ankles, you can get this figure to stand on his own two feet without the aid of the base and peg it comes with.